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Unlocking Africa’s competitiveness

first_img5 May 2011African economies have made important strides in improving their economic environments in recent years, but much remains to be done to sustain recent strong growth, according to the Africa Competitiveness Report 2011.The report, jointly produced by the World Bank, World Economic Forum and African Development Bank, was released at the start of the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town on Wednesday.It argues that African governments must better harness the region’s resources through stronger integration into international trade and finance, improved educational systems, enhanced entrepreneurial opportunities for women, and developing their tourism sectors.“Africa must focus on the policies and strategies that are key for the sustained economic recovery and inclusive growth of the continent, such as higher education for skilled manpower and entrepreneurship development, and financial instruments that will support vibrant private sector development and regional integration and trade,” Mthuli Ncube, chief economist and vice-president of the African Development Bank, said in statement on the release of the report.Four focus areasThe report highlights four areas on which Africa should focus “to ensure strong, sustained and shared growth”, namely: diversifying products and markets; upgrading managerial skills and higher education; expanding women’s entrepreneurship; and reaping the full benefits of tourism.“African countries have much to gain by diversifying exports and by further opening up regional trade,” the World Bank says on its Africa Competitiveness Report web page.Despite improving over recent decades, the report finds, Africa’s share in world trade remains low, being heavily concentrated in natural resources, while intra-African trade is limited.Regional integration could also “help African countries become more competitive and resilient to external shocks”.Not enough university studentsOn managerial skills and higher education, the report states, African higher education enrolment remains extremely low by international standards, while most African students avoid science, engineering technology and business. “The result is a skills mismatch – university graduates remain unemployed, while African countries continue to face shortages of skilled labour.”The report finds the rate of women’s entrepreneurship to be higher in Africa than in any other region, without necessarily signaling economic empowerment. “This is because women are concentrated in the informal, micro, low-growth, and low-profit areas.”The report shows that while women are less likely to be operating larger firms in higher-value-added sectors, those who do so in fact manage firms that perform equally well as those run by men. “What is critical is not to increase entrepreneurship per se, but rather to enable women to move into higher-value-added activities.”Tourism riches unexploitedAnd when it comes to tourism, the report finds that Africa’s rich natural and cultural resources “represent a major unexploited endowment … The region has many advantages on which to build its tourism industry, including price competitiveness, a strong affinity for tourism, and rich natural resources supported by efforts toward environmental sustainability.“However, a number of obstacles remain to developing the sector, notably improving safety and security, upgrading health and hygiene levels, developing infrastructure and access to African sites, and fostering the region’s human capital.”In addition to assessments of competitiveness, trade performance and the ability to attract investment, the report includes an analysis of what is needed to upgrade higher education in Africa, how to best expand women’s economic opportunities on the continent, and the extent to which African countries have created environments attractive to travel and tourism.Klaus Schwab, executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, said the report was “the third comprehensive effort by our three organisations to place the continent in a broader international context and to shed light on the important aspects of development in the region, which are so critical to ensure sustained and shared growth for Africa’s citizens.”SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Tripura hikes social security pension

first_imgThe Tripura government has increased the allowance under the social security pension schemes to benefit the marginalised sections of society. The hike would be a minimum of ₹300 and a maximum of ₹500. A decision has also been taken to pay the social security allowance into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.A leader of the ruling BJP said the hike in social security pension was a commitment incorporated in the vision document released ahead of the Assembly elections last year. The party is completing one year in office on March 9.last_img read more

Batra declared elected as IOA president, Mehta Secy-Gen

first_imgBy Philem Dipak SinghNew Delhi, Dec 14 (PTI) International Hockey Federation (FIH) chief Narinder Batra was today elected as president of the Indian Olympic Association for a four-year term by an overwhelming majority in the polls held at its Annual General Meeting here.The 60-year-old Batra secured 142 votes while his rival Anil Khanna got 13 in the two-way contest.His election to the top post was rendered a formality after Khanna, a former All India Tennis Association president, withdrew from the contest in a surprised move. But there was an election for the presidents post as Khanna sent the withdrawal letter to the IOA-appointed Election Commission after the stipulated deadline of December 3.Incumbent Secretary General Rajeev Mehta was re-elected for his second term without any contest as he was the lone candidate for the post.Batra will thus become one of the few sports administrators who heads an important international federation as well as a National Olympic Committee.Meanwhile, Anandeshwar Pandey was elected as treasurer, while R K Anand defeated J S Gehlot by 96 votes to 35 for the post of senior vice president.The election results will however be subject to the final decision of the Delhi High Court, which yesterday refused to stay the polls on a petition filed by lawyer Rahul Mehra.Just after winning the election, Batra said that he would take a proposal to the government to host the 2032 Olympics, 2030 Asian Games and 2026 Commonwealth Games.”I am yet to take over as the IOA President. But once I settle down, the IOA will take a proposal to the government to host the 2032 Olympics, 2030 Asian Games and 2026 CWG. We should think big but hosting these Games depends on government as it is the government which will sanction the funds,” he told a press conference.advertisement”The IOA hopes to work with the government in a conducive atmosphere. We want to have a good relation with the government but at the same time, the government will also have to draw the line (upto where it can go),” he added.Asked about sporting relations with Pakistan, Batra said, “As far as international multilateral events, organised by the international federations are concerned, we have to play against Pakistan. But I think it is not possible to play them in bilateral events unless the relation between the two countries improve. Moreover, their behaviour will have to improve.”When Batra was the president of Hockey India, there was an acrimonious incident between Indian and Pakistan hockey teams after a match in the 2014 Champions Trophy in Bhubaneswar and he had stopped any bilateral matches between the two countries until Pakistan made an unconditional apology for their behaviour. PTI PDS CM CMlast_img read more

10 months agoTorino going back to Chelsea for second loan signing

first_imgTagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Torino going back to Chelsea for second loan signingby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveTorino are going back to Chelsea this month for a second loan signing.After the success of Ola Aina this season, Toro now want to sign his Chelsea teammate, Lucas Piazon.The Granata plan to move to Piazon this month, with plans for an initial loan arrangement.The Brazilian is tied to Chelsea until 2020, though has struggled for first team action as a Blues player.The most success Piazon has enjoyed in England was a loan spell with Fulham in the Championship. last_img read more

a month ago​Barcelona fined £265 for Griezmann signing

first_img​Barcelona fined £265 for Griezmann signingby Ian Ferrisa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveBarcelona have been fined only 300 euros (£265) by the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) for their approach to Antoine Griezmann while he was at La Liga rivals Atletico Madrid, reports BBC Sport.Spanish champions Barcelona signed Griezmann after paying his 120m-euro (£107m) buyout clause on 1 July.But the federation said Barca broke its rules by negotiating with Griezmann without Atletico’s permission.Atletico believed his buyout clause should have been 200m euros (£179m).They claimed that Barca began talking to the player in March, when that was the size of his buyout clause.His cost then dropped to 120m euros at the start of July, which was when he signed for Barca, but Atletico claimed the “commitment of the player and Barcelona was closed” prior to the clause reducing.The player was absolved of any responsibility by the federation. TagsSpanish Football NewsAbout the authorIan FerrisShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

Grandfather tells murder trial accused was having trouble with alcohol drugs

first_imgLETHBRIDGE, Alta. – The grandfather of a man accused of killing three people in southern Alberta says one of the victims was a close family friend.Terry Megli says his grandson, Derek Saretzky, knew Hanne Meketech, who was killed in her mobile home in Coleman, Alta., in September 2015.Saretzky, who is 24, is charged with first-degree murder in Meketech’s death, as well as in the deaths of Terry Blanchette and his two-year-old daughter Hailey Dunbar-Blanchette.Megli told a Lethbridge court that his wife, Judy, was initially the executor of Meketech’s will and Saretzky had cut her lawn a few years before her death.Megli said his relationship with his grandson was strained because Saretzky had been using drugs and alcohol.last_img read more

Celebrities Help Celebrate Tony Bennetts 90th Birthday At Power Of Love Gala

first_imgOn Saturday, May 21, some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry celebrated the 90th birthday of the legendary Tony Bennett at Keep Memory Alive’s 20th annual Power of Love gala at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.Larry Ruvo, Tony Bennett, Steven Tyler and Jeff Koons on the red carpet before Keep Memory Alive’s 20th annual Power of Love gala,Credit/Copyright: David Becker/Getty Images for Keep Memory AliveThe star-studded event raised funds and awareness for Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and its fight against brain disease including Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s and Parkinson’s diseases, multiple sclerosis and multiple system atrophy.Highlights from the night included a performance by honoree Tony Bennett and heartfelt tributes by James Corden, Andra Day, Herbie Hancock, Darius Rucker, Jordin Sparks, Steven Tyler and more. Day kicked off the show with her rendition of “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” while Corden performed his version of “Don’t Get Around Much More.” Later in the evening, Sparks teamed up with pianist Dan Orlando to perform a medley of hits including “The Best Is Yet To Come,” “Alright OK You Win” and “It Don’t Mean A Thing.” Rucker treated guests to hit single “Sunny Side of The Street,” before Hancock took the stage to perform “Chameleon” and “Cantaloupe Island.” Tyler joined the elite ensemble to perform “Smile” with jazz trumpeter Chris Botti before singing Aerosmith classic “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing.” The man of the evening, Bennett, performed numerous hits including “Watch What Happens” and “How Do You Keep The Music Playing.” To close the show, the entire cast sang Bennett “Happy Birthday” and presented him with a celebratory cake. In addition to musical icons, celebrity supporters who also attended the event included Quincy Jones, Brad Garrett, Steve Schirripa and Chazz Palminteri.Tony Bennett is also a gifted visual artist with three of his paintings in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institution. To acknowledge this aspect of Bennett’s artistry, a variety of world-renowned painters, sculptors and other artists joined to celebrate and were recognized during a special presentation narrated by Academy Award, Golden Globe and Emmy nominee Minnie Driver, which was accompanied by an original score from former Wings guitarist Laurence Juber. Artists honored included: President and Founder of Cultural Counsel Adam Abdalla; Golden Lion Award-winning artist Marina Abramović; American artist and glass sculptor Dale Chihuly; President and CEO of Chihuly Studio and Chihuly Workshop Leslie Jackson Chihuly; American pop and conceptualism artist Jonathan Horowitz; Governor’s Award-winning artist and sculptor Jeff Koons; American post-conceptual artist Rob Pruitt; legendary New York artist Peter Tunney; screen writer Petter Skavlan; and curator, creative director and writer Neville Wakefield.Continuing its 20-year history, the Power of Love gala showcased a dinner prepared by superstar chefs Mario Carbone, Nobu Matsuhisa and Wolfgang Puck, who has participated in every gala since its inception. In addition to enjoying the finest cuisine, wine and spirits, guests bid on one-of-a-kind experiences during a live and silent auction. Items auctioned include a seven-day Italian vacation in Florence and Venice with world-famous tenor Andrea Bocelli as a tour guide, an original piece titled “The GOOD LIFE” from artist Peter Tunney and a personal culinary tour of Jean‐Georges Vongerichten’s eight New York City restaurants.last_img read more

How Penn State Can Still Make The College Football Playoff

13Auburn def. Alabama37.732.3+5.3 Which of Penn State’s games holds the most weight?PSU’s remaining 2017 matchups by the impact they have on the team’s playoff chances 13Michigan def. Ohio State35.419.2+16.3 12Nebraska99.892.4+7.4 10NC State def. Clemson41.530.6+10.9 13Maryland99.688.8+10.8 11Michigan State def. Ohio State16.17.0+9.1 Each week in this space, we examine all the things a certain contending team needs to have happen in order for it to make the College Football Playoff. This week, we look at the Penn State Nittany Lions, who suffered their first loss of the season Saturday after a fourth-quarter collapse on the road against Ohio State.Current situation: Undefeated and ranked No. 2 in the country, Penn State had a clear playoff path laid out in front of it — provided it could beat the Buckeyes, that is, in what was the program’s biggest game since the late 1990s. The Nittany Lions scored on the game’s first play and held control for three quarters, but Ohio State kept chipping away at PSU’s lead late, capping off a 19-3 fourth-quarter run with a go-ahead touchdown pass from which Penn State never recovered. Now ranked seventh in the first edition of the CFP committee rankings, the Lions have only a 14 percent chance of making the playoff, according to the FiveThirtyEight model.What the Lions can do: Because the loss came relatively late in the season, it left Penn State without much time to rebuild its playoff status. Even if the Lions win the rest of their games, our model gives them only a 20 percent chance of making the playoff. One important factor driving that number is a lack of opportunities for another signature win down the season’s final stretch: According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, Penn State’s future strength of schedule ranks just 67th in the country — easily the worst among the top 15 teams in the country by FPI. The only ranked team remaining on Penn State’s schedule (assuming it doesn’t go to the Big Ten championship) is Michigan State — and if PSU beats Michigan State, the Spartans will surely lose their ranking, which is currently only No. 24. With this weak slate of remaining games, it will be difficult for the Lions to impress the committee solely with their performance on the field before season’s end.Even so, here are the most important games left in the regular season for Penn State, based on the biggest difference in winning percentages between our simulations where the Lions make the playoff and ones where they don’t: WKOPPONENTMAKES PLAYOFFDOESN’T MAKE PLAYOFFDIFF. The other games that need to go right for the Nittany LionsNon-Penn State matchups that have the biggest impact on the team’s playoff chances 11Stanford def. Washington46.440.7+5.7 Differences may not add up because of rounding. 13Stanford def. Notre Dame43.435.7+7.7 Where they need help: As if losing to the Buckeyes wasn’t enough, Penn State fans now need to keep a close eye on every Ohio State game from here out. Because the teams share a division and because OSU now holds a head-to-head tiebreaker over Penn State, Ohio State will need to lose twice in conference play to give PSU a shot at winning the East. That’s not very likely; our model gives Ohio State a 44 percent chance of winning every remaining regular-season game, much less winning at least three of four. But OSU’s best chances to lose will come in its games at Iowa this weekend and at Michigan on Nov. 25, so those are also Penn State’s highest-leverage games left in the season (aside from the Lions’ own matchup against Michigan State on Saturday). 10Iowa def. Ohio State34.1%12.7%+21.5 PROBABILITY BY PENN STATE OUTCOME 13Georgia Tech def. Georgia29.522.9+6.6 11Rutgers99.996.3+3.6 10Michigan State99.4%79.2%+20.1 11Miami (FL) def. Notre Dame42.035.2+6.8 13South Carolina def. Clemson27.521.2+6.3 WKRESULTMAKES PLAYOFFDOESN’T MAKE PLAYOFFDIFF. PENN STATE WIN % BY OUTCOME Based on two sets of simulations: one where the team makes the playoff and one where it doesn’t. Differences may not add up exactly because of rounding. Of course, it’s also possible that the committee could slot in both Penn State and Ohio State come selection day. (In 28 percent of simulations where the Lions make the CFP, the Buckeyes are also in, making OSU Penn State’s fourth-most-likely playoff “companion” behind Alabama, Georgia and Clemson.) But the chance of two Big Ten teams making the playoff is pretty remote; our model gives it an 8.3 percent probability of happening, mainly because it would require some major shakeups elsewhere in the country — most likely losses by Clemson, Washington, Notre Dame and/or one of the Big 12 front-runners — to clear space. And although the most common combination among those multiple-Big Ten-playoff-team universes features Penn State and Ohio State making the playoff together (47 percent of the times that two Big Ten teams make it), our model assigns a 27 percent chance to a scenario where Ohio State and Wisconsin are the Big Ten picks, and the Nittany Lions are left out.1And in 22 of our 20,000 simulations — or 0.1 percent of the time — three Big Ten teams somehow make the playoff.But maybe that’s also an area where the model doesn’t have enough information yet. If Wisconsin and OSU are on a collision course in the Big Ten championship (and they appear to be), then those Badger-Buckeye universes would mean that the committee selected a conference title-game loser for a playoff spot. That may not be very realistic: In 12 chances over three seasons, only once — Ohio State in 2016 — did the real-life committee pick a team that didn’t win its conference (and those Buckeyes didn’t lose their championship game but rather missed it entirely on a tiebreaker).That should give Penn State hope that its current odds are being slightly understated by our model — that if they just keep winning and get a little lucky, the Lions could slip in as a second Big Ten playoff bid at the very least. Then again, if college football’s playoff era has proven nothing else, it’s that the committee might do something we’ve never seen before. We’ll see whether that works in Penn State’s favor or not.Check out our latest college football predictions. Also, see what it will take for Notre Dame, Clemson, Washington and Oklahoma to still make the playoff. read more

Football Redshirt freshman quarterback Matthew Baldwin enters name in transfer portal

Redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin (12) throws a pass down the field in the first half of the 2019 Spring Game on April 13. Gray beat Scarlet 35-17. Credit: Casey Cascaldo | Photo EditorAfter entering spring camp expecting to battle with sophomore Justin Fields for first-team quarterback reps, redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin has entered his name into the transfer portal. Ohio State confirmed the report Thursday. Lettermen Row was first to report.In the Spring Game, Baldwin completed 20-of-36 passes for 246 yards, throwing two touchdowns and two interceptions. Fields finished the game completing 4-of-13 pass attempts for 131 yards and a touchdown, adding a rushing touchdown with 38 rushing yards. Baldwin spent his first season with the Buckeyes overcoming an ACL injury he suffered in the 2017 Texas 6A State Championship game when he was at Lake Travis High School.As spring practice continued, Fields and Baldwin split first-team reps, and Baldwin was confident in is chances of playing time. “Now Tate leaves and Justin comes in,” Baldwin said. “I guess he is kind of chasing me.”With the loss of Baldwin, Fields and redshirt senior Chris Chugunov are the only quarterbacks on scholarship for the Buckeyes. Sophomore quarterback Danny Vanatsky is also on the roster as a walk-on. read more

AFTA announces NTIA finalists

first_imgSource = AFTA AFTA announces NTIA finalistsThe Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2015 AFTA National Travel Industry Awards (NTIA).Following a one month polling period where the industry cast their votes for the best of the best across 37 categories, the highest-ranked nominees have now been selected – heightening anticipation for the annual award ceremony to be held on Saturday 18 July 2015.The full list of finalists can be viewed HERE.Jayson Westbury, AFTA Chief Executive congratulated all nominees and finalists and thanked the industry for once again getting behind the awards.“NTIA grows each year and continues to be an event clearly cherished by all. AFTA is committed to bringing this significant event to the industry for the industry and all nominees and finalists should be very proud of their achievement thus far.” said Jayson Westbury, AFTA Chief Executive.“Industry will wait with bated breath over the next few weeks as 115 travel industry individuals and businesses from 23 of the 37 categories will go before the judging panel to decide the winners for 2015,” said Westbury.“NTIA is now just 10 weeks away and the count down has truly begun. The AFTA team have been busy planning a spectacular night for guests, which of course is not possible without major sponsor Qantas, who provide much valued support,” said Westbury.The 37 category winners will be announced at the Gala Dinner on 18 July at Dockside Pavilion, Darling Harbour. Entry to the Supper Club sponsored by Singapore Airlines is included with every Gala Dinner ticket purchased.AFTA congratulates all finalists and wishes you the best of luck.last_img read more